TO THE LIGHTHOUSE
sunny grass and discolour it, and cast over the
rubicund, drowsy, entirely contented figure of
Mr. Carmichael, reading a French novel on a
deck-chair, a veil of crape, as if such an existence,
flaunting its prosperity in a world of woe, were
enough to provoke the most dismal thoughts of
all. Look at him, he seemed to be saying, look
at me; and indeed, all the time he was feeling,
Think of me, think of me. Ah, could that bulk
only be wafted alongside of them, Lily wished;
had she only pitched her easel a yard or two closer
to him; a man, any man, would staunch this
effusion, would stop these lamentations. A
woman, she had provoked this horror; a woman,
she should have known how to deal with it* It
was immensely to her discredit, sexually, to stand
there dumb. One said—what did one say?—
Oh, Mr, Ramsay 1 Dear Mr. Ramsay! That
was what that kind old lady who sketched, Mrs.
Beckwith, would have said instantly, and rightly.
But no. They stood there, isolated from the
rest of the world. His immense self-pity, his
demand for sympathy poured and spread itself
in pools at her feet, and all she did, miserable
sinner that she was, was to draw her skirts a little
closer round her ankles, lest she should get wet.
In complete silence she stood there, grasping
her paint brush.